tv [untitled] March 16, 2013 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
we introduced her before. (applause) >> a lot of you have talked to her already. she will be working with the speakers on stage. and i'd like to introduce jim merkasio with the san francisco graffiti advisory board. he will be the phil donahue. i hand you the microphone. >> i'll hold onto it. i believe the way we're planning to do this, we have some written questions that we will be reading off and the panel will be answering them. i'll also be taking questions from the audience. so, if anybody has a question, feel free to raise your hand. allow me to have time to get over there to get to you. should we start off with a red question or a question from the audience? >> i can read one. >> okay. >> okay. and some of these questions on the list -- is the mic on? okay. some of the questions are directed toward a specific speaker, others aren't. so, if it's directed toward a specific speaker, i'll ask you.
if not, just whoever can answer it, start answering it. this is a general question. so, it's not geared toward any particular speaker. so if anyone feels like chiming in, that would be great. how do you go about securing funding for the various graffiti programs? do you use grants, tax assessments, et cetera? anybody? >> i think i can take that. >> okay, ready. >> for anyone who didn't attend my session, i do a juvenile program where i take kids who have been convicted of graffiti crimes to do community service on saturdays. the way i do this is get a public grant from department of public works where we take kids out to graffiti hot spots, we paint over graffiti and they get a reduced fine and credit for probation officers. this is done through a public grant. it's a very effective program. we have been able to turn a lot
of kids around, restore justice. we get a lot of positive feedback from the community, a lot of other officers are happy to get the overtime. and as an officer, you're really able to facilitate the program well because you are able to put on a lot of different hats, communicate with probation, you communicate with traffic court judges, with community referral center, and with station personnel. so, you really act as a good communicator and facilitator in the program from a law enforcement background. and the grant we get through public works really allows us to run effectively. >> great, thank you. >> [speaker not understood]. let me come on over here. what's your question? >> okay. [speaker not understood]. i've gotten three years of knowledge [speaker not
understood]. my question is this. how am i going to get the police department, how am i going to get city council -- they're partially on board, but some of our people in public works are here today. how can i convey to them that i'm not a nut -- everybody here thinks i'm a nut because [speaker not understood]. how did they really take this seriously and realize that graffiti is a crime and it requires money and it requires attention from the officials, not just from covering graffiti? is there an answer? can you give me some sort of -- what's a good direction? >> [speaker not understood]. >> [speaker not understood].
basically the task force, they'll put together and try to convince the citizens something is happening, then it will go away. it's no longer a political issue. what turned the corner for us, we had a mayor go out during one of our zero tolerance on blight mayor. she went out on a clean up day. the people from the better business bureau went with they are and started dragging her through the streets and started showing her the [speaker not understood], showing her the graffiti all over and what an impact it's having on them. yeah, one person goes up, couple people go up, even the police go up and they believe it. you don't get a lot of interest from city hall on that. you get the business community and convince them the importance of dealing with graffiti and make that important to city hall, you'll be amazed. that was one of my most successful times, when the business community was appreciate you you aring city hall. that's our tax base. at a time when tax bases are
diminishing income to citizens is diminishing, when you can show them how different it can be, that suddenly makes good business sense to them and they'll dedicate the resources to you. so, that's what's worked for me. (applause) >> anybody else up there? everybody okay with that answer? i think we're pretty grateful here in san francisco that we have a mayor that was actually the director of the department of public works. so, we know he's totally on top of it and involved. do you have another question? >> this isn't geared towards any particular speaker, but it is geared towards abatement. we have an annual volunteer event where graffiti is removed city-wide. in an effort to encourage youth to participate we are considering a flash mob where all volunteers will abate graffiti at the same time on the same day along major thoroughfares. is this a good idea or does it
detract from the issue? thoughts? okay, yes. >> that's a great question. >> thank you. my experience is it's really hard to paint while you're dancing. [laughter] >> but on top of that, my experience with volunteerism and with large groups of painting comes from working with -- actually supervising small groups of offenders and volunteers doing the work hands on, but also working from the city side where we bring the paint and supplies to groups that might be from a business community or faith group and helping them to get set up, making sure they're going to get consent and setting them free in their community. there is a real cost factor associated with having 50 or 100 or 150 rollers, brushes, paint kits, trays, rags, running around your community. whether it's a flash mob or whether it's just a large event. so, i wouldn't recommend it. what i would recommend is maybe
using a flash mob to get the word out, taking registrations, having a facebook page, that kind of thing, and then organizing those groups so that you've got some adult volunteers for every group of youth and you have a nice very well organized structured event. the other thing is there can be a lot of waste and a lot of environmental damage if somebody isn't working very carefully with people that don't have a lot of experience with those kinds of materials. you want to make sure the paint doesn't go down the wrong place, that those rags can be reused, you can rinse things, stack them, collect them, and use them again. so, sustainability and environmental responsibility i would say is really good. but that would be pretty cool dancing and painting. (applause) >> anybody else? all right. do we have questions here in the audience? i see somebody, okay, coming over here. not only are we here to tackle graffiti, but we're going to tackle mic issues, too. they're setting up another mic.
we might be able to use two mics again. you want to stand up? >> first, thanks for coming. this has been amazing. i'm with a group called big picture. we also work with kids, trying to deal with this problem of the source. we teach the young offenders, especially on campus, prepare their own canvas and get to make art without victims. again, it comes back to funding. it's a general problem. a $9 billion company, that's how much they make every year and i don't see them contributing to the solution. if bp oil of the beach in the gulf, they're made to clean it up, i'm not sure why [speaker not understood] aren't endowed with the responsibility of helping with this problem. this is a legal problem. if they are encouraged to help,
does that mean they're somewhat culpable? i'm not suggesting they start the war, but they've made the bullets. [speaker not understood]. >> do we have anybody up there? we have one pioneer over here that's willing to take on that one. by the way, is that oakland, that accent? [laughter] >> i guess from my perspective, it never hurts to ask. we have a huge variety of sponsors. for example rona who is like a lowe's or home depot who is supplying or providing paint. they are a sponsor of my program. so, they provide me a 45% discount on paint as well as they give me a 25% discount coupon that we give to everybody. they supply the materials for my wipe outs, they supply the paint for my wipe out. cis -- not cis, seco paint has been providing paint the last number of years for wipe out.
i know it's discouraging, but i think what i've found in terms of getting corporate sponsorship is starting at your local store and working it that way, trying to get them on board. and once you get them on board on small little events, then piece them off to get the bigger ones. so, for example, glad bag sponsors our 15 to clean program. they provide all the bags and all the gloves for our whole spring campaign. and it's possible. so does safeway. safeway sponsors one of our litter programs where they -- we pay nonprofit groups to go in the community, pick garbage for 16 weeks during the summer, and they pay those. safeway as well as many other groups pay those volunteers. so, i mean crylon, like you said, it's a huge company going to head off. you're probably not going to have the same success as somehow working with local businesses. that would be the only thing i could suggest. but it's worth a try because i think the more persistent you
are -- i think a couple of them finally gave us money because rona in particular because they just didn't want to hear from me any more. [laughter] >> all right, thank you. (applause) >> i don't know why the product is still on the shelf. personally it's one of the most toxic products out there. i don't know if any of you have had ever deployed spray cans on walls and just stood there. how do you dispose of it? there are so many environmental issues it's unbelievable. and as communities, if you start targeting that, i think that there could be something done. it should be restricted product at the very he least. you know, the kid who use it get stoned off it. that's why they drink and that's why they smoke dope and stuff. the average one that you talk to says that that's a contributing factor to their addiction to their drugs. so, the product itself is awful product. that comes from a fine arts
background. i don't use it any more because i don't feel good after i help the kids with murals. it's an awful, awful product. and i think that's what needs to switch. and i don't know if it's the source, like the selling source, if there could be like some restrictions, but you guys are fantastic at bringing in laws. so, maybe you can create some kind of law. you're so good at that. you would be the country to start that, i would be quite certain. we have to go about 10 steps through parliament and it takes 20 years to change a law. i think you can do it overnight. [laughter] >> well, maybe. thank you. (applause) >> we have another answer. >> if i might very quickly. >> yes, of course. >> i have worked with aerosol with youth on murals as well as individual projects. i've also done collage. we've done paint pens.
we have used a number of different things from silk screen t-shirts to making logos. my experience with these youth is you might engage them through graffiti. you don't have to use arrow zoll. it's expensive. it's anywhere from 8 to $14 a can wherever you get it. and you also have to then worry about protecting the eyes, the hands and the proper respirator which could be 35 to $50 apiece per youth. so, to me it's a really expensive way to engage that graffiti side of the artistic or creative behavior. at the same time, montana wants their name out there. so, if you can't montana and say i'm getting 15 kids together to do graffiti art, can you give me some stuff? i need like a basic color palate. i don't see why they wouldn't give it to you whether your message is condoning graffiti or permitting it or not, you don't have to tell montana. so, if it is something you want to work with, i think you could get -- i think you could
actually be quite successful getting quite a bit of paint and supplies. sea >> [speaker not understood]. >> certainly. certainly, and i feel the same way about cigarettes. >> thank you. all right. gen, do you have another question? >> yes, this is actually for enforcement and abatement. i have two similar questions actually from the same city so i'm kind of going to blend them together. they're interested in restitution cost formula to charge individuals caught tagging the restitution labor, materials, equipment, costs. so, i don't know if that could be split between -- pointing at you. abatement and enforcement. >> i was going to point to dwight, but i guess i'll take it. >> or martin. >> just from my experience, you look at the amount that you've
-- the amount of time that you've spent abating the problem. that starts with lugging paint over to the van, driving it to the site, putting on one coat, putting on a second coat, making sure it's not bleeding, possibly putting on a third coat making sure it's covered up, reloading it and driving back. the cost of the supplies is minimal. the cost of the labor is where you justify the cost because you're looking at someone's hourly wage, time, plus the amount of time that they spent abating the problem. and that's what's going to stand up in court. that's the most. you don't want to overestimate obviously just to make an example of someone you want to be fair and equitable. and the hourly wage is the best way to do it because that's where the cost really comes into play. >> i could add to this a little bit from the historic cultural materials side of things. we have been involved before with the local arts commission
on cost for repairing graffiti damages to, say, outdoor monuments. and there was quite a bit of surprise through the court systems of what the cost was. and the reason is because the qualifications of somebody working on historic or, you know, listed registered properties or artwork can be higher than throwing paint in a van and getting, you know, it's just a different level of professionalism that's required sometimes for these more specific properties. so, i would take that into consideration, too, if you're addressing what the cost factors are. (applause) >> just out of curiosity, how many of your cities are charging restitution when vandals get caught? and how many are not? okay, all right. those of you that aren't really
need to get on with it and get that formula figured out and start having that be part of the process when somebody gets caught. for those of you in california, i know some cities in the past have included law enforcement costs in their restitution and they've gotten away with it for quite a while. just in the last couple months, a court judgment came out and said that if you're in california you cannot have law enforcement costs be part of your restitution package. so, just fyi. that's just a couple months old. i don't know about other states, i know that that's new for california. and we do have four or five examples of cities' restitution formulas. if anybody is interested they can see me afterwards and i can give you what other cities have used. >> awesome. are you all right? why don't you hold the mic until you don't need it any more. we have another question over
here. >> this is for the san francisco crew. how important was your task force, elevate the issue of graffiti abatement in san francisco? >> i think one of the main reasons why it was elevated is -- and it's been continued to be elevated. the current mayor was actually the director of public works and he saw that graffiti was a serious problem. and, so, it's become more and more prevalent and the board of supervisors has also taken it on. i think they also recognize that the graffiti brings blight to the neighborhood. and, so, it hasn't been hard to get the support. and just like we're all here, as you saw yesterday, the city leaders are all on